Respite care and carers' break - what is respite care | ƹƵ


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Respite care: having a break from caring

It's important to take a break from care if you need one. This is known as out respite care – find out how you arrange respite care and how it may affect your benefits.

What is respite care?

Respite care is the term used for services that enable you to take a break from caring. A respite care service is provided to the person you care for, to temporarily replace the care you would otherwise give them. 

Respite care can come in many forms. What works best will depend on your circumstances and those of the person you care for. It might be a home care service for the person you care for, for example to allow you to go out in the evening, or a temporary stay in a care home to enable you to take a longer break, such as a holiday. Arrangements could be made for the person you care for to attend an activity group or day centre once a week, to give you a regular break from caring. 

How do I arrange respite care?

In some areas, respite care is provided as a result of your carer’s assessment, while in others it’s provided through a needs assessment for the person you look after. If your assessment or the assessment for the person you care for shows you need respite care, the local council should provide it.

You might be able to get financial support from the council to help you take a break, but respite services are means-tested so you or the person you care for may have to contribute towards the cost.

Find out more about getting a carer’s assessment

Will a break from caring affect my benefits?

If you have time off from caring, there are special rules to decide whether you'll continue to receive Carer's Allowance. The basic rule is that you can continue to receive your Carer's Allowance for up to four weeks in any six-month period if you have a break from caring.

However, the rules are complicated, so you should get specialist advice from the Carer's Allowance Unit.

If you're receiving any other benefits which include extra amounts for caring, these may be affected if you have a break from caring.

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Last updated: Jun 21 2024

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